I recently got a chance to visit the Cheetah Experience in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
The registered nonprofit was started in 2006 by Riana van Niewenhuizen and aims to “save endangered species through captive breeding, education and awareness.”
I took a tour of the compound with several volunteer friends.
Take a peek:
This is Luna, an 8-month old cheetah:
She was a feisty little thing. She looks like a panther but her dark brown hair is covering her spots.
This is Buttercup the goat:
Random to see a goat here but her cage was adjacent to the wolves and lions. Poor thing.
Posing in between two cheetahs:
Again, I was sccccccuuuuurrrreeedddd!!!
They had wolves, too:
Poor dude looked like he was thirsty. And hungry.
Here's an owl:
Look into his eyes…
And here's a real king:
I was scared, even in front of the fence! This big boy looked hungry. White lions don’tsurvive in the wild because they don’t blend in too well with their surroundings.
During the tour, I had to stay very quiet and be very careful, especially while petting the cats. I didn’t want any “cat-tastrophies!”
I learned a lot, especially about the servals, which have stripes and spots. Overall, I had a great time. Big cats are where it’s at!